Assembling a National Conference
Everyone knows that it takes a great deal for a lodge contingent to prepare for the conference, but many participants are unaware of the vast planning that takes place before anyone arrives on campus. The planning process actually began several years ago when the National Committee picked the location of this conference to be Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Following the choice of a location, contracts were drawn up and preliminary planning for the facilities was made.
In December of 2001, at the National Planning Meeting in Dallas, all of the section chiefs met and developed the theme and conference activities. After electing the national chief, vice chief, four region chiefs, and the conference vice chiefs (CVC's), they started to develop their program plans. With members of the National Order of the Arrow Committee providing guidance, the CVC's led their committees into creating the individual program areas. In March of 2002, conference vice chiefs and lead advisers visited Indiana University. They carefully looked over the various facilities, and continued detailed planning for the event.
This year the conference will be divided into nine program committees: American Indian Events, Camping and High Adventure, Communications, Competitions and Recreation, Founders' Day, Inductions and Ceremonies, National Council of Chiefs, Shows and Special Events. In addition to the program committees, there are three support service groups that are designed to ensure the success of the conference. The committees are headed by a member of the National Committee and supported by enough staff to carry out the support responsibilities. This year's service committees are Financial Services, Support Services and Trading Post.The approximately 1200 NOAC staff members began arriving on Tuesday to finalize arrangements and begin setting up program areas.
The Trading Post staff had the formidable task of preparing all of the orders Arrowmen placed before leaving home. Items for each pre-order were sorted and placed in grocery bags. The bags were numbered and lined up ready for pick up by participants. The result was a veritable field of bags. This was a very impressive site, especially with the American Flag at the end of the hall as a backdrop.
The Outdoor Adventure Place (TOAP) is a place where a Scout can pick up some skills and have some fun. The TOAP staffers have been working hard to get their site ready for all the participants. They have set up many high adventure activities and have arranged for several government agencies to provide informative displays for the NOAC participants.Lots of lumber, nails and hammering were required, but the result is a great place for Arrowmen to have fun!
The Shows committee prepares the exciting evening shows for NOAC. The Opening Show, History/Recognition, American Indian and the Theme Show all have to be ready to entertain and inform the participants at NOAC. They even put together a Staff Kick-off on Friday evening.
The other committees were also busy. Communications put together the newspaper, the web site and planned for their other responsibilities. Training was busy scheduling trainers, sessions and making sure all materials are available for the start of the sessions. Competitions and Recreations also did scheduling and prepared for their events. All of the staff were busy making sure that NOAC 2002 would be a great success.